BOSTON — Anthony Rizzo would like to be in the lineup for one of the four games here at Fenway this weekend, but the Yankees first baseman isn’t going to push a recurring back issue that has plagued him over the years.
“I would like to think so,” RIzzo said of playing this weekend. “But then again with this it’s like highs and lows, It’s a little like a peak in a valley where it feels really good and then it can not. Once you get it to kind of release, which I feel like we’re past that point, it’s a pretty quick fix.”
Rizzo has missed three straight games with the back issue, which he said he has been something he has dealt with yearly.
”But I feel like I stay on the field, you know, it’s just one of those things,” Rizzo said “I mean, this year I feel like it’s July. I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in July during my career so I tried (to prevent it). I thought maybe it was behind (me), but it’s just one of those things where it creeps up. It’s not like a structural thing just happens and you deal with it.”
Rizzo said he has only had to go on the injured list once for the back spasms, but that was because it happened in April. Normally it takes six to eight days for him to work through it. The 32-year-old said there isn’t one thing that brings it on, it’s kind of cumulative with the season’s play and travel.
“It honestly never really hurts when I swing. It’s the wear and tear of the year, 82 games, a lot of flights, a lot of late nights and little things like that,” Rizzo said. “I don’t know, but it’s not really one thing I could pinpoint .”
Rizzo has hit 22 home runs this season and is slashing .223/.336/.507 with an .844 OPS.
APPRECIATION FOR GALLO
A day after Hal Steinbrenner said he “still expects great things,” from struggling outfielder Joey Gallo, GM Brian Cashman said he respects the work.
“I think Joey Gallo is working his tail off and nice to see him get that ball that he drove out of the park yesterday. We know what he’s capable of doing. We obviously haven’t seen the best of Joey as of yet but, he’s grinding and we appreciate his efforts,” Cashman said before Thursday night’s game. “It’s tough to get all aspects of your roster performing to the levels you think it’s capable of doing, but that’s why you try to be as strong and as deep as you possibly can. So whenever certain aspects are either injured or struggling other aspects step up and then provide the winning that you need. Collectively, as a team, we are winning. He’s impacted us with his base running with his defense, not as much as we expected, but there’s time on the clock for that to change.”
Gallo went into Thursday night’s game slashing .167/.283/.338 with a .621 OPS, 10 home runs and 91 strikeouts in 198 at-bats.
THE FUTURE IS CALLING
Yankees minor league shortstop Anthony Volpe, left-handed pitcher Ken Waldichuk and outfielder Jasson Dominguez were all named to the American League Future’s Game on Thursday.
“There was some adversity early on and he fought through it. He’s finding his stride. It’s all good. So looking forward to the way he goes about in the second half. He’s a really talented player, with great makeup,” Cashman said about Volpe. “And, his future, we believe, is bright.”
Cashman confirmed the Yankees signed veteran right-hander Richard Rodriguez “a couple weeks ago,” and have him working in Tampa. “The more the merrier.” Rodriguez has a career 3.28 ERA with a 1.13 WHIP. He’s struck out 230 over 228 innings pitched. …Domingo German, who will make a rehab start for Triple-A Scranton on Saturday night in Worcester, will be with the team this weekend. He is not expected to be activated, however, until after the All-Star break.